Earbuds are on the verge of a major functionality transformation, says Romit Roy Choudhury, PhD, a professor in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois.

“The leap from today’s earphones to ‘earables’ would mimic the transformation that we had seen from basic phones to smartphones,” Choudhury said in a statement earlier this month. “Today’s smartphones are hardly a calling device anymore, much like how tomorrow’s earables will hardly be a smartphone accessory,” he says. The future devices will “continuously sense human behavior, run acoustic augmented reality” (whatever that is) and “have Alexa and Siri whisper just-in-time…